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2017-18 Client Application – Chicago

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Compass pro bono consulting project. Compass grants pro bono consulting services to nonprofits that benefit the Greater Chicago community. Each nonprofit client receives approximately $150,000 of strategic consulting services – free of charge. This year, we expect to select approximately 10 nonprofits.

ELIGIBILITY: 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Chicago area may apply if they have a minimum operating budget of $750,000, three full-time paid staff members, an active board of directors, and a mission that benefits the Greater Chicago community. Compass does not accept clients that promote specific religious or political beliefs.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Compass looks for indications that a potential consulting engagement will be completed successfully and have a lasting and meaningful impact. Those indications include financial stability, regular Board meetings, capacity of the Executive Director to participate in the project, an engaged Board Chair interested in the proposed project, a well-defined and realistic project scope, and a track record of community impact.

When selecting the final roster of clients, Compass looks for geographic diversity not too far from the immediate metropolitan area, service line diversity, and clients that represent a wide range of issue areas.

Compass rarely accepts clients who have an interim Executive Director or who are about to transition to a new Executive Director. Compass will defer a project if the Executive Director leaves during the project period (September 2017-June 2018).

REPEAT CLIENTS: We encourage past clients to apply for additional projects. However, most clients benefit from taking a year off between projects.

CLIENT SELECTION AND PROJECT TIMELINE: Over the summer, Compass representatives will contact and interview (separately) the Executive Director and Board Chair of applicants that meet the basic criteria, listed above. Compass will announce final client selections in August.

Project Leaders will begin working with clients in September. Teams will be fully formed, trained, and begin working in earnest in late October, with projects completed by late May to June 2018. Please keep in mind that we will host our annual PROJECT LAUNCH on October 12th. This event is a chance for prospective volunteers to meet Compass’ newly selected clients and learn about the projects. Clients are REQUIRED to attend this event.

CONFIDENTIALITY: All information in this application will be kept confidential within Compass and the Client Selection Committee, and if selected, within the project team.


Download the 2017-18 Compass Greater Chicago Client Application



Once you are ready to complete the online application, you can access the application here: Complete the 2017-18 Chicago Client Application.